::: MENU :::

Pagination on Enigma responses

Pagination has finally been implemented on the enigma question responses. This was one of the last sections that needed it doing. It is different to other sections in that by default, the last page of responses should be shown rather than the first page. So if there are 50 responses, and 25 to be shown per page, then when arriving on the enigma page without specifying any particular page, then the last 25 comments should be shown.

If you preview or submit your response with errors, it will automatically load the most recent responses for the last page, even if you weren't on the last page originally. This is intended behaviour.

If anyone notices any bugs with this, please let me know, but from what I can tell, it all seems to be working as expected.

Site updates posted to Twitter

It is now possible to receive any site updates by following my account on Twitter. The following are currenty being added to Twitter automatically:

  • New enigma question posted
  • New movie added
  • New album added
  • New TV show added

Enigma section updates

It is now possible to browse the enigma questions alphabetically by title, and by enigma author.

To browse by title, go to Enigma Browse and then click on any of the links from A to Z.

To view all enigma questions by a particular author, you can click on the author name on either the main enigma index page, or on the individual enigma page for a particular enigma number.

Pagination finally implemented

I had been planning to implement pagination quite a long time ago, almost since the site began. Over the weekend I managed to sit down and implement it. It's almost completed now and being used in almost all the places it is required. The only part where it is still required is for the enigma comments. I will try and get this done over the next week, as there are a lot of other changes that need doing on that page first. The blog section also needs updating to use the new system, as it currently uses its own one which was not written by me, and is not very efficient in its design.

Please let me know via the contact form or commenting on this post if you spot any issues with it, or if you spot a place where it's not being used and you think it would benefit from using it.

Site caching

The site should be running a little bit quicker now, although the speed difference is probably unnoticable. I have finally got around to caching some of the common data, so that the pages don't have to hit the database as frequently. There were a few pages that were hitting the database over 10 times, and these have been cut down to 1 or 2 times now. There is still a little bit more work to do on this but it is 95% done.

On a seperate note, I have decided to store all times as UTC time (or GMT time) in the database and retrieve them as they are. Previously, the time was stored as the server time, which was 4 hours different to GMT. However, this caused many problems with archiving the blog posts by month, and with the issue of daylight savings time. All times displayed on the site should now be in UTC time, and any bits of text like 'Posted 2 hours ago' are based on UTC time.

Preview enigma responses

You can now preview your enigma response before submitting it. This should help with testing out any special text formatting, especially when using the [code] tags.

Unlike many preview buttons, this does not rely on Javascript, so is usable by everyone. Of course this means it will cause more strain on the server, but I'm sure the server can cope. However, if the site were to have hundreds of users posting at the same time, then it may become a problem, but I think for now we are safe.

Enigma response multiple submissions

Recently it seems that the addition of an enigma response is having a bit of a problem. The result of this is that users are hitting the Submit button again and again. And this is actually producing multiple responses all with the same text by that user.

So today, I have added in a bit of code to check the most recent response. If you then try and add another response when you are the most recent responder, it will let you know and not add the response. For those who genuinely need to add another response, I will soon add the ability for a user to edit their last response, so any updates can be added to that rather than posting a new one.

Email notification of new enigma questions

Just a quick update for everyone who follows the Enigma section of the site.

You can now select to be notified by email every time a new question is added. This is in addition to the email notification of a reply being posted to a question that you have posted on. That email notification cannot currently be turned off. Anyway, the new checkbox should now be on your profile page which you can view here (if you are logged in).

Fake email addresses no more!

Have finally got around to implementing an activation email into the site. Anyone who has registered with a fake email address is now set to inactive and will not be able to login until they become active. Emails have been sent to all users, even the email addresses that looked fake. If you don't receive an email with your activation link, then you'll need to contact me using this form to explain why you registered with a fake email address, and what you'd like it changed to.

Why do you bother?

The whole point of having member systems is so that a community can be built around it. You can get notified by email if other users respond to posts/comments you have made. What is the point of registering with a fake email address? I have no idea but it will now hopefully stop.

If you do insist on registering with a fake email address, go ahead. Rest assured it will not get your profile page indexed in any search engines.

Enigma Section Up And Running

Have finally got the Enigma section of the site setup and working. This is a section where the enigma questions set in the magazine New Scientist will be published. New Scientist is published weekly and so there should be a new question posted up weekly. Each magazine also provides the answer to a previous enigma question, usually 6 weeks previous. Therefore, if that question is unanswered, the answer will be posted up.

There are a few little design tweaks to be done to the Enigma section but the actual backend code for it is completed. I have also added in a php bbcode tag so that php code can be inserted into the responses and it will automatically be highlighted to make the code more readable.

Here's an example:

// a comment
$variable = 'yes';
$sum = 1 + 2;

I also updated the header slightly. Just made the text on the logo a little bigger and with a slight gradient on it. It's not brilliant but I think it looks much better than it did previously.